ACT I: CHAPTER FOUR

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A/N: Nothing to see here, just two fetuses falling in love <3

I wasn't around during the X Factor or UAN days but I'm pretty sure watching the fond in real time would have killed me. Fetus Larry was wild. If anyone was a fan back then please tell me how you survived.


HARRY / PAST

The boys lined up against the barre on one side of the dance studio while the girls lined up on the other. We were practicing lifts. In my old studio back in Cheshire most of the girls were younger and smaller than me but at the Royal Ballet School they were my age and my height, if not taller.

I went to Top Shop over the weekend to get some loose fitting tanks like the other boys wore. I was finally starting to feel like I fit in even though I was still woefully behind when it came to technique.

Louis was paired up with his friend Eleanor, a poised but cagey brunette with a golden tan from summers spent yachting in the South of France. They were bickering at each other from across the room.

"Don't you fucking drop me, Tomlinson!" she said, flexing her pointe shoe.

"El, I wouldn't drop you if you would just relax!"

"How can I relax when you keep dropping me?"

I was paired up with Gigi, the strongest female dancer at the academy. She was tall and muscular and scary as hell. She looked like a China doll when she was happy but a cobra when she was mad. She was mad a lot.

Louis nudged me. "Watch out for Gigi. The last time a guy dropped her she kicked him in the balls. We call her The Nutcracker."

I blanched.

Liam went first. His female partner braced herself on his shoulders and he lifted her off the ground with complete ease, her legs scissoring the air and gently gliding back down.

Zayn caught his partner simply enough, spinning her high above his head with one arm like as though he were twirling a baton.

Eleanor swore under her breath as she ran at Louis. They were practicing a catch and lift. She had to jump into his arms and then, with the momentum of the jump, he had to toss her up in the air and hold her by the waist above his head. He managed it, though her nerves got the best of her and he had to put her down before they could complete a full rotation.

Gigi's icy blue eyes bore into mine as she came toward me. We were doing a simple arabesque lift. The easiest lift. I had my right hand just above her hip and the left under her extended leg, holding it the way a waiter presents a tray. I bent my knees and lifted. I got about halfway up before my arms began to shake.

Louis bit his lip.

Zayn covered his eyes.

I couldn't do it. My elbows buckled and I landed her ungracefully on the ground.

"Again," she said.

Once more, I placed one hand firmly under her leg and the other on her hip. I lifted and—I dropped her. Oh shit.

She got up and circled around me. "Again!"

I tried, but it was physically impossible. "I can't!" I gasped, setting her down gently.

"Again."

I lifted her a bit higher this time, but my form was sloppy and she slipped out of my grip.

"Again."

We must have done it fifty times, and kept going long after the others had finished practicing. My arms were getting weaker not stronger.

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